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Tennessee HC Rick Barnes Talks Wire-To-Wire Win Over Texas A&M

Senior Bowl Practice Footage: February 1, 2022

Tennessee earned its fourth straight conference win Tuesday night defeating Texas A&M, 90-80, at Thompson-Boling Arena.

The Vols led wire-to-wire over the Aggies thanks to their best offensive performance of the season. Tennessee shot 51% from the field and 42% from three-point range as five Vols scored 14 or more points.

“That’s what we’ve been wanting all year,” Barnes said of the offense. “We’ve been talking about playing with force, playing with speed because we don’t want to have to take it down and come down and grind it out. We don’t want to put so much pressure on anybody — whether perimeter or post guys. Some teams are going to make you do it but you can still play with speed, moving the ball with quickness.”

Josiah Jordan James played one of his best games in his three years in Knoxville in the win. After missing the game winning three-pointer at Texas, James knocked down a triple on the first possession of the game and didn’t look back.

James tallied 14 points (4-of-7 shooting), eight rebounds (three offensive), two assists, five steals and one block.

“I thought the way he got started offensively was one of his best games ever,” Barnes said. “I loved the way he took the ball hard to the basket. On that layup, I think he took one dribble when he was in stride — maybe two and stretched out and made that layup. … We need him. We need him playing like that.”

Despite leading the entire game and by double-digits at multiple points, Tennessee struggled to put Texas A&M away.

Seven second half turnovers led to Texas A&M getting easy transition looks and the Aggies used it to pull within one at one point in the second half.

However, Tennessee never let the Aggies get over the hump and used a 12-0 run to gain some distance from Texas A&M.

Barnes also discussed Justin Powell’s big second half shots, Olivier Nkamhoua’s strong performance, Tennessee winning the rebounding battle and more postgame.

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